How Do I Choose the Best Scrapbooking Adhesives?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Mecomber
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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When choosing scrapbooking adhesives, first consider the type of material you are securing to the scrapbook. Scrapbooking materials — photos, ribbons, sequins and other items — require different types of scrapbooking adhesives to provide the longest lasting, most beautiful results. For example, a glue gun is best suited for stiffer materials, such as ribbons and buttons, while double-sided tape or glue dots are best for securing photographs and paper products. No matter what type of adhesive you use, always select an archival adhesive. These materials are acid-free, which means they will not discolor or stain your scrapbooking items over time.

For photographs with glossy or paper backing, the most convenient scrapbooking adhesives are pre-cut squares of double-sided tape, double-sided foam tape or mounting squares. Some manufacturers load the small squares or dots in tape dispensers for extremely easy application. If you expect to do a lot of scrapbooking, consider a reloadable dispenser that can receive replacement adhesive packs. Mounting squares are tiny triangular pads that have small open envelopes to hold the corners of the photograph. These little squares are non-tacky and adjustable, so if you need to readjust the photo on the paper, the squares can be removed.


Use glue dots for small, hard objects, such as beads, trinkets, sequins and buttons. Glue dots are small round pads that have dried glue on them and give extremely strong adhesion. For larger objects, such as ribbons, fabrics, larger buttons and trinkets, use a glue gun with glue sticks. Glue guns provide a very superior bond, and objects are difficult, if not impossible, to remove after the glue has dried. It is best to use glue dots and a glue gun for permenanently gluing objects to your scrapbook project.

Spray adhesive is another permanent scrapbooking adhesive. It tends to be a little messy, and it does take some time to acquire the skill of applying it. This type of adhesive is transparent and will firmly hold acrylic or vellum materials. Avoid spraying this adhesive on photographs and directly onto paper, as the moisture may warp or wrinkle the materials.

Finally, you should know what adhesives to avoid when scrapbooking. Children's school glue and glue sticks are unsuitable for scrapbooking, as the liquid glue is messy and weak, and the glue stick adhesive will eventually wear away. Skip the rubber cement and opt for archival glue gun and glue sticks instead. Always use caution when using permanent scrapbooking adhesives, especially for photographs, unless you will definitely not replace or remove the objects later.


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